09/04/2019 - EELP News

In Which We Compare Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Climate Plans

by Caitlin McCoy, Laura Bloomer

Ten of the democratic presidential candidates are discussing their climate plans tonight on CNN. Most of the candidates are seeking the same goals of net zero emissions by 2050 and immediately reversing the environmental and energy rollbacks that are occurring under the Trump administration. Click here for the chart as a pdf you can view download.

Candidate Name of Plan Cost/Direct Investment Emissions Target Technology Emphasis Carbon Tax/Fee Who/What/When Equity Funding for Plan
Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice $1.7 trillion to mobilize $5 trillion Net Zero by 2050 $400 billion investment in clean energy research and innovation. Establish a research-focused administrative agency. Yes List of immediate executive actions, legislative agenda that includes an enforcement mechanism, technology deployment. Holding  corporations accountable to communities affected by pollution and other climate change impacts. Reverse corporate tax breaks.
Booker Plan to Address the Threat of Climate Change Over $3 trillion 100% carbon neutral economy by 2045 Invest $400 billion in clean energy technology research and solutions for decarbonization. Yes List of immediate executive actions, legislative agenda, and broad executive branch agenda for agency action in a variety of areas. Framed with the Green New Deal – cleaning up pollution, ending fossil fuel subsidies, focus on underserved communities who suffer disproportionate burden of pollution and climate impacts. Carbon fee on fossil fuel sources at the coal mine, natural gas wellhead & oil refinery. Industrial sources would become subject to the fee in 2030.
Buttigieg Mobilizing America: Rising to the Climate Challenge Plan $1.5-2 trillion Net Zero 2050 Quadruple federal R&D and renewable energy and energy storage to at least $25 billion a year. Yes Expand energy efficiency programs, list of immediate executive actions, Congressional legislation for carbon pricing. Discusses some environmental justice issues and emphasizes resilience investment to support communities. Not clear. Would end fossil fuel subsidies.
Castro People and Planet First $10 trillion Net Zero by 2045 $200 billion green infrastructure fund. Yes First 100 days: executive actions focused on environmental discrimination. Longer-term measures, including unilateral efforts and legislative proposals. Equity is the primary focus of the plan and is the motivation for each component. First priority is to pass new civil rights legislation to prevent environmental discrimination. Also creates a climate refugee designation. Not clear. Would end fossil fuel subsidies.
Harris A Climate Plan for the People $10 trillion in public and private funding Carbon neutral economy by 2045 Mobilize public and private investments to spur technology development. Close the “technology commercialization gap.” Yes List of immediate executive actions reversing rollbacks and implementing new programs, legislative agenda includes passing bills Harris has introduced, litigation strategies to hold polluters accountable, and federal investment in technology and innovation. Equity is the main focus of the plan: “Plan is about putting people first [and] justice for communities that have been harmed.” End fossil fuel subsidies, increase noncompliance fines for corporations, climate pollution fee.
Klobuchar Plan to Tackle the Climate Crisis No specific overall cost.  $1 trillion proposed for infrastructure. Net-zero by 2050 Tax incentives and grant programs for technology and infrastructure investment. Focus on “mobilizing the heartland” for clean energy development. Yes Emphasizes executive action in first 100 days to reverse rollbacks and act unilaterally, longer-term investment and federal action, and some legislative proposals. One of her plan’s pillars is how to “leave no one behind” through adaptation measures and environmental justice initiatives. Carbon pricing, end fossil fuel subsidies, clean energy bonds, corporate tax reforms, increase capital gains rate, close trust fund loophole.
O’Rourke Taking on our Greatest Threat: Climate Change $1.5 trillion direct investment to mobilize $5 trillion Net Zero by 2050 Mobilize at least $4 trillion in investment for technology and infrastructure. No Plan is primarily a list of executive actions, short legislative agenda that includes enforcement mechanism to reach 2050 goal, and an increase in adaptation resources. Dedicates $1.2 trillion to people and communities. Tax on corporations and ultra-wealthy as well as ending fossil fuel subsidies.
Sanders The Green New Deal $16.3 trillion Net Zero by 2050 Massive investments in R&D of energy storage, EVs and sustainable plastics. No Broad goals, most require legislative action or federal funding . Plan is framed in terms of GND and includes many commitments to underserved communities. End fossil fuel subsidies, cut military spending, reduced need for safety net spending due to job creation and new income tax revenue.
Warren 100% Clean Energy for America; she has woven climate policies throughout many of her plans for other sectors as well. $3 trillion Net Zero by 2050 $2 trillion over the next ten years in green research, manufacturing, and exporting. A ten-fold increase in clean energy R&D funding ($400 billion over 10 years). No, but she is open to the idea Has specific policy plans that discuss how she will direct executive branch agencies, she has named some specific executive actions she will take like an E.O. ending fossil fuel leases on public lands, and has outlined legislative actions as well. She supports it, but she frames the intersection of economic progress, equity, and climate as a Green Manufacturing Plan for America. End federal oil and gas subsidies, and close corporate tax loopholes.
Yang It’s Worse Than You Think – Lower Emissions, Higher Ground $4.87 trillion Net Zero by 2049 Invest in updating electricity infrastructure and geoengineering, including incentives for private companies Yes- Fee and dividend Incremental timeline to reach the 2049 goal, immediate executive action to lower federal government emissions and enhance climate programs Emphasis on lowering electricity bills End oil subsidies and implement a carbon fee and dividend.